5 Things You Should Never Let Slide In a Relationship, According to Therapists
There are some issues that cannot be ignored.
When we love someone, we tend to let them get away with things that we wouldn't tolerate from anyone else. But that willingness to turn a blind eye in a romantic relationship is not always for the best. While it's fine to not sweat the small stuff, ignoring certain issues may cause them to build up over time and possibly even destroy your relationship. Talking to therapists, we found out what couples need to be standing their ground on in order to maintain a healthy partnership. Read on to find out the five things you should never let slide in a relationship.
Playful teasing is typical among romantic partners but make sure you pay attention to just how far your significant other takes it—especially in the presence of other people. Jennifer Kelman, LCSW, a family therapist and relationship expert working with JustAnswer, tells Best Life that people shouldn't sit in silence if they notice that they're "being insulted or spoken to in derogatory terms in front of others" by their partner.
According to Kelman, this is an "aggressive act" and is usually done by someone who wants to be viewed by outsiders as the "good guy" in the relationship. "This needs to be addressed and not ignored or else this pattern can become entrenched, eroding the connection in the relationship and ability to work through issues in a healthy manner," she warns.
The trust you and your partner have in each other is important, so don't try just looking the other way if it wavers. "Trust is crucial in a relationship as it allows partners to feel secure and confident in each other," says David Tzall, PsyD, a licensed psychologist based in New York City. But when it's broken? "It can lead to feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and hurt, making it difficult to move forward in the relationship," Tzall says.
Your relationship doesn't necessarily have to end if your partner has broken your trust or vice versa, according to Kerry Lauders, a relationship expert and mental health officer at Startups Anonymous. But you can't put off fixing the issue either: "If trust is broken, it is important to address it immediately and work towards rebuilding it," Lauders advises.
It's normal to feel jealous occasionally but there's a thin line between what's okay and what's not in a romantic relationship. "While sometimes at the beginning of a relationship, you might think it is cute that your partner is jealous of other's in your life, [but] this possessiveness gets old very quickly," says Kelman.
It's important to make sure your partner is keeping their jealously in check, even early on in the relationship. After all, "it is something that often doesn't get better as time goes on but rather gets worse and should not be left to slide or think it is cute," Kelman says. "Jealousy can lead to controlling behavior."
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Opposites attract, but that doesn't mean you should ignore when your core values are being challenged. "Though compromising is an important part of any relationship, it's essential that the core values between two people remain aligned," explains Sarah Watson, LPC, a psychologist and life coach. In fact, Tzall says that this could be a major warning sign of trouble: "A lack of compatibility an indicate deeper problems in the relationship," he warns. "It is difficult to keep the relationship moving forward when each partner wants something different."
Watson advises talking through your opposing values. "If there are big differences in opinion or lifestyle choices, these should be discussed and resolved respectfully," she says. But if you're not able to both feel comfortable with a compromise, it might just mean you and your partner are not right for one another. "The couple should be growing together and differing priorities may make this impossible," Tzall says.
A lack of communication.
Many of us will often excuse our significant other's lack of communication, especially to other people. "'My partner doesn't like to talk about things or their emotions,' is a common phrase often heard in relationships," Kelman confirms. But this is not something you can just brush under the rug: "A lack of communication cannot be left to slide because things don't get resolved without communication, and relationships cannot thrive or survive without healthy communication," she adds.
According to Tzall, good communication in a relationship allows for us to understand our partner's thoughts, feelings, and needs. But when it's not there, we are more prone to "misunderstandings, conflicts, and unfulfilled needs," he warns. "This can cause tensions to rise and potentially leading to a breakdown in the relationship."
So what should you do? "If you feel that your partner is not listening to you or you are not able to effectively communicate, it's important to have an open and honest conversation about it," Lauders advises.